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In this day and age we get bombarded every second by opinions and facts from different sources and people, all saying that they are right. How on Earth do we know who to listen to? Is it the expert who has worked all their life to prove their thesis? Or is it the person who’s been through it all and can tell from experience? Honestly, who knows? It’s impossible to be 100% objective, so it’s normal for each person to tell a different story.
I was thinking about this while listening to a very interesting podcast on the Lewis Howes School of Greatness show about finance from a Harvard professor Mihir Desai. They both were saying how most of the population is financially illiterate, and how we need start introducing finance books for children. Desai was explaining how his new book (The Wisdom of Finance) is all about explaining financial concepts through stories. The book is already a bestseller and is added to my Reading list. However, there are things he said which I was not too sure about. Things like: ‘you need to start saving the minute you’re earning money. Sacrifice some of your present money for a better future.’ Then he said that investing is essentially luck, and that no one really has the skill to ‘beat the market. Hmmm.
He’s a Harvard professor, does that mean he should be right? Not exactly. Robert Kiyosaki says we should stop always focusing on the future and start now, start living life now. People like Johnny Ward and other digital nomads prove this by having a blog and traveling the world, living in the now. They obviously save money too, but their focus is more on what they are doing now and not waiting until retirement to discover the planet. Another podcaster called Nick Kraakman, a very successful investor, says investing is all about knowing what you are doing, being educated. He uses a method called ‘value investing’ and preaches tips and tricks to understand and earn large sums of money from the market.
Who to believe? Who to follow? The appropriate answer would be: everyone. Listen to them and understand them, understand their methods and tricks. Once you learn, you apply, you try it out yourself. Maybe Kraakman’s method works for him, but it could be a fail for you. Yes, it could be risky. Yes, you could end up broke at one point. But guess what? You will be living, experiencing life to it’s fullest, reaching your limits. The key is knowledge, so listen to the experts and the professors and listen to the wise and the beginners, and then finally listen to yourself.